Just about everyone who goes to Salvador has been to Mercado Modelo, but whenever I go down to the basement, I rarely see a living soul. At the end of the building, where the Capoeira dancers perform, before leaving the building, turn right or left going toward the staircase that leads to the second level. You will see a spiral staircase going down, there are no signs, just take the staircase down. It's pretty erie, but you can feel the history down there. I've read on another VT site that people would take cover there before an impending attack on the city. I've also heard from a Soteropolitana (this is the name for someone who is born in Salvador), that this is where the slaves first entered the city. Mercado Modelo's original function was the customs building and the slaves had to pass through here. Not too many people know about this place, including Soteropolitanos.
After having a few beers in the Mercado Modelo baracas, you need to frequent the toilettes upstairs! On your way back, try to continue to the basement, and have a look! It is usually accessible, and lightned, This is the place where a lot of the ancestors to the today- Bahianos, spent some time, 500 years ago ( until quite reasently!!! ) UUUUHHHH!!
A little known friday night event, is the 19-23 samba in Mercado Modelo. The scene is set up outside, where the capoeira is during the day, Its more relaxed than other places i went to, and it seems like it is for an adult type of people. I like it a lot, The music is usually samba de pagode. It is mostly locals who come to have a beer and a cheerful evening.